Martha Valdivia is Hotel Business Director for the Americas, based in Splendia’s Miami office. Sunshine, soft sand beaches, fabulous restaurants, exclusive shops and a world-renowned nightlife… Martha welcomes us to Miami!
Describe Miami in three words?
What do you like best about living in Miami?
By far, my favourite thing about this city is the diversity and the passion by which people live their lives here. On any given day, I’m in contact with people from at least five nationalities and each one will share a part of their culture with me. It’s a perfect melting pot where cultures mix and many times merge into what is considered Miami’s true essence – no-one is a foreigner here, everyone belongs.
When is the best time of year to visit?
With privileged weather and events held year-round, there really is no wrong time to visit Miami. For sun worshipers, March through mid-August are the ideal months to spend entire days on the beach, people watching on South Beach and cooling off at a local hot spot with a cocktail. September through February are months filled with cultural events like Miami Spice, Art Basel and the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. Be sure to pack an umbrella if you are travelling from August to November; it’s rainy season in Miami and afternoon tropical rainstorms may just catch you by surprise!
Miami is known to be a hot spot for its nightlife – where shall we go?
I would start with dinner in the Wynwood Arts District, one of the up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Miami where lively restaurants and trendy art galleries go hand in hand. An entire evening can be spent dining al fresco and window shopping along the galleries and design shops. An art walk is held on the second Saturday of every month and it has quickly become a place to see and be seen in the Miami social scene.
For the more adventurous party-people, stick to tapas for dinner and get ready to head to South Beach for some dancing, or skip dinner altogether and get ready to spend the evening club hopping! Here are a few of the local favourites: Club 50 at the Viceroy Miami hotel in the Brickell financial district offers spectacular views of the Miami skyline, The Wall at the W South Beach, or MyntLounge, which will test your dancing shoes and party stamina into the early morning hours…
And where can we find the best cocktails?
With a revolving door of Miami’s trendiest socialites stopping by for a cocktail or an evening of bottle service, the Florida Room at the Delano is the place to see and be seen. Don’t be surprised if you run into a celebrity or two. Better yet, with a cocktail in hand and just the right South Beach attitude, you’ll feel like a celebrity yourself! The views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami from the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian Miami will take your breath away. The complete menu of Brazilian cachaça cocktails infused with everything from cardamom to lemongrass and other savoury concoctions offered will delight and entice you to spend the evening contemplating the palette of colous that are set before you.
What would you recommend to someone who only has 24 hours to spend in Miami?
Morning: Start the day by eating an authentic Cuban breakfast at Café Versailles, a Miami institution on Calle 8, where you will be tempted to sit for a while and listen in on conversations ranging from Latin American politics to the latest neighbourhood gossip. Don’t linger…there’s a lot to do in Miami!
Make your way to Lincoln Road on South Beach, a pedestrian street mall for people watching and boutique shopping. For the much needed mid-morning boost, grab a Cuban ‘colada’ at David’s Café and rent a Segway to head down Ocean Drive between 5th and 14th Streets. Take a peek at the Versace Mansion and pick a spot on the sand to spend some quality time soaking in the sun and taking a dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic. Make your way to News Cafe right on Ocean Drive for a light lunch enjoying the view.
Afternoon: Head north to the Shops at Bal Harbour or south to the Village of Merrick Park, where you can window shop or treat yourself to something special from one of the exclusive boutiques at these two outdoor shopping malls. Treasures in hand and time permitting, visit the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens for a quick trip through time. Vizcaya is an Italian Renaissance-style villa with adjoining formal gardens, built in 1916 as the winter residence of industrialist James Deering and a representation of Miami’s multi-faceted cultural history.
Evening: Wander through the art galleries in the Wynwood Arts District and Midtown. Reservations for dinner are recommended, and many times mandatory at the trendiest spots in town. Around Wynwood and Midtown, there are several restaurants like Joey’s, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Sugarcane and Mercadito. Or, head to South Beach a bit early and feast at Prime One Twelve, STK orThe Setai. Drinks at SkyBar in the Shore Club hotel will start off the late evening activities, leading you to dance the night away…